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Multiple data transfer instructions
ARM also supports multiple loads and stores:
ldm/ldmia/ldmfd: load multiple registers starting from
[base register], update base register afterwards
ldm <rn>!,<registers>
ldm <rn>,<registers>
stm/stmia/stmea: store multiple registers starting at
[base register], update base register after
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Multiple data transfer instructions
General syntax:
op{cond}<address-mode> <rn>{!}, <reg-list>{^}
• op : ldm, stm
• Cond: an optional condition code
• Address-mode:
ia – Increment address after each transfer
ib – Increment address before each transfer.
da – Decrement address after each transfer
db – Decrement address before each transfer
fd – full descending stack
ed – empty descending stack
fa – full ascending stack
ea – empty ascending stack.
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Multiple data transfer instructions
rn is the base register containing the initial memory
address for the transfer.
! is an optional suffix.
- If ! is present, the final address is written back into
rn.
reg-list
• a list of registers to be loaded or stored.
• can be a comma-separated list or an rx-ry style
range.
• may contain any or all of r0 - r15
• the registers are always loaded in order regardless
to how the registers are ordered in the list.
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Multiple data transfer instructions
^ is an optional suffix and NOT use it in User mode or
System mode.
- if op is LDM and reg-list contains the pc
Current processor status register (CPSR) is restored
from the SPSR
- otherwise, data is transferred into or out of the User
mode registers instead of the current mode
registers.
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Multiple data transfer instructions
Example of ldmia – load, increment after
ldmia
r9, {r0-r3}
@
@
@
@
@
register 9 holds the
base address. “ia” says
increment the base addr
after each value has
been loaded from memory
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Multiple data transfer instructions
Example of ldmia – load, increment after
ldmia
r9, {r0-r3}
@ register 9 holds the
This has the same effect as four separate ldr instructions, or
ldr r0, [r9]
ldr r1, [r9, #4]
ldr r2, [r9, #8]
ldr r3, [r9, #12]
Note: at the end of the ldmia instruction, register r9 has not
been changed. If you wanted to change r9, you could simply
use
ldmia r9!, {r0-r3, r12}
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Multiple register data transfer instuctions
ldmia – Example 2
ldmia r9, {r0-r3, r12}
• Load words addressed by r9 into r0, r1, r2, r3, and r12
• Increment r9 after each load.
Example 3
ldmia r9, {r5, r3, r0-r2, r14}
• load words addressed by r9 into registers r0, r1, r2, r3,
r5, and r14.
• Increment r9 after each load.
• ldmib, ldmda, ldmdb work similar to ldmia
• Stores work in an analogous manner to load instructions
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Multiple register data transfer instuctions
Note:
push is a synonym for stmdb sp!, reg-list
pop is a synonym for ldmia sp!, reg-list
Note:
ldm and ldmfd are synonyms for ldmia
stmfd is a synonym for stmdb
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Multiple register data transfer instuctions
Common usage of multiple data transfer instructions
• Stack
• Function calls
• Context switches
• Exception handlers
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Multiple register data transfer instuctions
Stack
• When making nested subroutine calls, we need to store
the current state of the processor.
• The multiple data transfer instructions provide a
mechanism for storing state on the runtime stack (pointed
to by the stack pointer, r13 or sp)
stack addressing:
– stacks can ascend or descend memory
– stacks can be full or empty
– ARM multiple register transfers support all forms of the
stack
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Multiple register data transfer instructions
Stack
• Ascending stack: grows up
• Descending stack: grows down
A stack pointer (sp) holds the address of the current top of
the stack
Full stack: sp is pointing to the last valid data item
pushed onto the stack
Empty stack: sp is pointing to the vacant slot where the
next data item will be placed
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Multiple register data transfer instructions
Stack Processing
ARM support for all four forms of stacks
• Full ascending (FA): grows up; stack pointer points to
the highest address containing a valid data item
• Empty ascending (EA): grows up; stack pointer points
to the first empty location
• Full descending (FD): grows down; stack pointer points
to the lowest address containing a valid data item
• Empty descending (ED): grows down; stack pointer
points to the first empty location below the stack
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Stack -- Last in first out memory
• Multiple store / load
– stmed
– ldmed
Stack example
Stack pointer (r13)
Address (H)
Data
4000 0488
:
:
4000 0008
:
4000 0004
:
4000 0000
:
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Stack push operation: stmed
Store multiple empty descending instruction
subr1:
stmed r13!, {r0-r2, r14}
@ push work & link registers
@ stores data on stack and decreases r13
on entry to SUB1
Old r13
SP moves
down
r14
r2
New
high
r1
r0
New r13'
Old
low
STMEDr13!, {r0-r2, r14}
“Empty” means Stack Pointer is
pointing to an empty location
r13'
when return from SUB1
high
(r14)
(r2)
r13
(r1)
(r0)
low
LDMED
r13!, {r0-r2, r14}
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Stack pop operation: ldmed
Load multiple empty descending
ldmed
r13!, {r0-r2, r14}
@ pop work & link registers
@ restores data to registers
@ and increases r13
on entry to SUB1
Old
r13
SP moves
down
New r13'
r14
r2
high
New r13'
when return from SUB1
high
(r14)
(r2)
r1
r0
(r1)
(r0)
low
STMEDr13!, {r0-r2, r14}
Old r13
low
LDMED
r13!, {r0-r2, r14}
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